Reaching Out

The Enemy is Near

“The enemy was near, and he watched our every move. He could see us, but we couldn’t see him,” states Jim Marsh, describing his experience in the jungles of South Vietnam. It was March of 1967, and the U.S. was fully engaged in the war in Vietnam, trying to protect South Vietnam from the communists in the north. Trained as a combat engineer with training in explosives and sweeping mines, Jim was assigned to a platoon of thirty men on patrol in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam, southeast of Saigon.

“Because it was very hot and we did a lot of walking, we tried to lighten our loads as much as possible,” states Marsh. “So one morning we discarded a camera case, a machete sheath, and a poncho. At sundown on the same day, we arrived at a spot where two rivers converged. Right in front of us was the camera case, machete sheath, and the poncho, folded very neatly.

When the point man of our platoon spotted this, I shouted to everyone: ‘Don’t do anything and I will take care of it.’ Around these items were 30 well-camouflaged booby traps – Chinese-made grenades, with almost-transparent fishing line connecting the grenade pins to bamboo sticks. (One for each of us – we had 30 men in our platoon). Fortunately, we recognized this as a trap and I disarmed the booby traps before we entered that place.”

Incredible – the enemy soldiers not only picked up the discarded items, but they anticipated where the platoon was headed, got there ahead of time, and set up a deadly trap with their discarded items as bait.

Reflecting on this experience, Marsh states: “Even though I was a baby Christian at the time, I felt the sovereignty of God was over me. I got pulled back to base camp, and eighteen days later our platoon got hit really hard, with many casualties. I know God was sparing me.
We have to 100% depend on the Holy Spirit, otherwise we will be casualties. The devil has 6,000 years’ experience to develop his evil tricks. God allowed me to go through this, and it expresses Romans 8:28: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’”
There is a parallel in the spirit realm:

· The enemy (Satan and his minions) is near, he is following you and me, and he seeks our destruction – to steal our faith, kill our bodies, and destroy our souls.

· Although he is not omniscient and does not know everything, he watches what we do, listens to our words, anticipates where we are going, and sets his traps accordingly, using bait that will attract us, such as money, power, worldly acclaim, drugs, porn, and lust.

· He sets traps – physical and spiritual traps to entice us to abandon our walk with the Lord and come over to the dark side. He promises much, may deliver temporary pleasure, but ultimately delivers suffering and death.

· Our unconfessed sin is an invitation and a portal for him to come in and infect our soul like cancer, which will metastasize if not treated by surgery (confession of our sins) and radiation (by the Holy Spirit).

· Unconfessed sin (and unforgiveness, which is an unconfessed sin) attracts demonic spirits like raw meat attracts flies.

But Satan is no match for our Lord – the sovereign, living God of the universe, who sent His son to overcome sin and the fear of death. He then sent the Holy Spirit to comfort, nurture, and guide us, so that we may live triumphant lives with the joy of the Lord.

Finally, He even gives His children – that would be us – the authority to dispense with Satan: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. James 4:7

So let us start each day with our Lord in His Word, close all spiritual portals by confessing of our sins and forgiving others, put on our spiritual armor, and go forth to reach the lost with the love and truth of Christ. For time is short, eternity is forever, and we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

To God be the glory
Board of Evangelism